Beano Studios has detailed a new partnership with the animal welfare charity Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in the only way The Beano could - through a bespoke narrative in its iconic comic book.
In the storyline, Gnasher has gone missing. The story will run across two issues of The Beano from August 29th to September 5th and follows feedback and insights garnered from Beano Studios’ consulting team of Trendspotters.
The group of nine to 12 year olds - selected to share the latest crazes, trends and opinions from the playground, have highlighted that animal care and responsible pet ownership are important issues to kids today.
The comic reveals an offer in the Beanotown newspaper of free sausages for every dog that goes to their local vet to get microchipped. Gnasher, already microchipped, is intent on destroying the adverts and goes on the run in a bid to keep the meaty treats to himself.
Fans are then invited to take part in the search for Gnasher on Beano.com, which features exclusive content to help solve the mystery with Dennis and his friends as to where Gnasher is.
This includes an interactive game to Crack the Code with one lucky winner receiving a Nintendo Switch.
The story has in fact leapt from the pages of The Beano with posters appealing for the return of Gnasher being spotted this week by dog walkers and passers-by in Battersea Park, London. The posters are also available to download from Beano.com for readers to help Dennis in his endeavour.
The storyline aims to raise awareness of the need to microchip pets. In 2017, nearly a fifth of dogs arriving at Battersea were not microchipped, making it difficult to reunite them with their owner.
Mike Sterling, editorial director at Bean Studios, said: “As one of the nation’s most loved dogs, I’d like to issue a plea for people across the country to help us find Gnasher. While it appears that Gnasher may have a dastardly plan to scoff all of the sausages, we’d like to get him back safely to his partner-in-crime.
“Thankfully, we had Gnasher microchipped following his last disappearing act and we are hugely grateful to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home for keeping a watchful eye out for our mischievous hound.”
Ali Taylor, head of Canine Behaviour and Training at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, added: “Luckily Gnasher is microchipped so when we track him down we should be able to reunite him with Dennis. However, many dogs arriving at our centre as strays are not so fortunate.
“Microchips are key in identifying stray dogs and locating their owner. We have our suspicions that we’ll be seeing Gnasher soon, but until then, we hope Beano fans will help join Dennis in his efforts to find him.”