More than a dozen guinea pigs were abandoned in a Cardiff lane.

The 13 rodents were found in a small grey basket in the Connaught Road area of the city on May 26, said RSPCA animal rescue officer Lauren Perry.

They had skin infections and are currently being treated for mites at Merthyr Tydfil Veterinary Clinic.

They're accommodated at a boarding establishment while officers seek more information about the incident.

Ms Perry said: "These guinea pigs are all very different colours and all seem to be doing well, although they are being treated for mites, there was also concern they may have potential ring worms."

She expressed her sadness at their abandonment, and encouraged anyone with information to contact the RSPCA’s inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018 by quoting log number 01271956.

The RSPCA has placed a 'found' poster in the area.

Guinea pigs abandonments can often escalate quickly due to confusion about their sex, leading to unchecked breeding, according to the RSPCA’s small animals welfare expert Dominika Jagoda.

She advised: "Owners need to make sure the general welfare needs of guinea pigs are catered for, especially making sure they have the right environment to live in and that they have plenty of space to exercise and explore as well as having plenty of toys to help prevent boredom."

To ensure their well-being, owners need to understand guinea pigs behaviours, handle them correctly, and create a conducive environment for them, she said.

Males, if housed with females, need neutering to prevent breeding.

It's not common to neuter females as the surgery is more complex.

The RSPCA's website provides more information and advice, as well as a downloadable booklet on guinea pig care.

This month marks the RSPCA's 200th birthday.