Manuel Gaitan, 46, of the Lawndale neighborhood was charged with animal cruelty and held in lieu of $40,000 bail, the Chicago Tribune reported Sunday.
The dogs, described as a 4-year-old male mutt and a 3-year-old Akita-German shepherd mix, were spotted in Gaitan's sports utility vehicle by a police officer about 1 a.m. Jan. 6, the start of Illinois' subzero temperatures, said Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Katherine Fox.
Police discovered that Gaitan also lived in the vehicle but hadn't been seen in a few days, Fox said.
Officers got the dogs out of the vehicle on Thursday after temperatures rose above zero, Fox said.
The dogs showed signs of malnutrition and were taken to Animal Care and Control, she said.