Pat Becker: Speaking Up for Animals
We need more kindness in the world, and Pat Becker Wallis is on a mission to help create it. Through Pat Becker Books, she publishes stories that help children gain a better understanding of dogs and other animals. “If a child can learn to care for an animal, they also learn to care for people,” she says.
Inspiring Kids Through Books
Pat has loved animals all her life, and over the years she has welcomed dozens of pets into her household. She has also helped many more animals by using her platform as a singer, actress, and television personality to advocate for responsible pet ownership. A former dog obedience trainer, she still speaks to groups about dog training and care.
Pat Becker Books grew out of her desire to help children become more familiar with animals, especially different breeds of dogs. She has written several books herself and sponsored other authors to write more. The catalog includes picture books and coloring books for little ones as well as books for older children, all professionally edited and illustrated.
Most of the books tell the stories of remarkable dogs, including several rescues. Pat has also published two horse stories, and she hopes to add books about other animals.
Singer, Actress, Animal Advocate
Long before she became an author, Pat built a successful career as a singer, then worked as an actress under contract with Twentieth Century Fox. Some of her credits include A Guide for the Married Man, In Like Flint, and the Batman TV series. “As contract actors, we were either working on our craft or booked in movies and TV shows. It was like a fantasy life. We were a big family,” she recalls. That family included stars like Paul Newman and Tom Selleck, but it’s the camaraderie within the whole group that Pat remembers most fondly. “I made so many friends, and my happiest times were when we were together,” she says.
She left Fox to focus on her singing career, then went on to produce a national PBS show, The World of Dogs Biography Series. After relocating to Edmond, she hosted “Dog Talk” television shows on channels 43 and 52, as well as a radio show, SPEAK. She also stayed active as a performer, singing with the Ukie Hart band.
Pat and her husband moved to the Little Rock area four years ago so she could pursue another recording opportunity. When she’s not writing and publishing, she sings with a jazz group, the Rex Bell Trio. She still advocates for animals in every way she can.
Making a Difference Around the World
One of the books closest to Pat’s heart is Sam and Uno, the story of two guardian dogs at Heifer Ranch in Little Rock. The ranch is run by the nonprofit Heifer International, which creates micro-business opportunities for families worldwide by providing them with farm animals. Many of those animals are raised at Heifer Ranch. Sam and Uno stay with the herd 24/7 to protect them from predators.
Pat first became interested in the dogs because of their unusual pedigree. Both of them are Akbash, a rare breed from Turkey. When she visited the ranch and saw the canine team in action, she was so impressed that she knew she had to write their story. All proceeds from the sales of Sam and Uno go back to Heifer International.
Pat remains passionate about the need to take better care of the animals around us, and she encourages others to help however they can. “Volunteer at rescues and shelters,” she urges. “There are so many in OKC. It gives you a one-on-one view of what it’s really like. Or get involved in dog therapy work. We can all find a way to make a difference.”