Nine German shepherds are being cared for by the Lawrence Humane Society after the dogs were found in poor condition in the back of two vehicles parked downtown, officials said.
"They were in distress," said Midge Grinstead, director of the Humane Society. "Somebody made a really stupid decision."
Sgt. Mike Pattrick, a Lawrence Police Department spokesman, said he didn't know who alerted police to the dogs, which were found Sunday near Seventh and Massachusetts streets. When officers arrived about 4 p.m., they found two dogs in two crates in the back of a sport utility vehicle and seven dogs in three crates in the back of a truck, he said.
Grinstead said the dogs didn't have water, and two were running temperatures of nearly 104 degrees. Most were less than a year old.
Sunday's high reached 101.
The dogs' owners, two Topeka men aged 47 and 48, were at the scene, Pattrick said. The 48-year-old was uncooperative and was arrested for interfering with officers' duties.
Pattrick said he didn't know whether the men would be cited for cruelty to animals.
It wasn't immediately clear why the men were transporting the animals.