Dale Horvath was one of the few remaining survivors of the original Atlanta group, and the owner of Camp RV.
After the outbreak had started, Dale lost his wife, Erma Horvath, to zombies early, something that incredibly devastated him. He becomes very close to Andrea and Amy while in the camp, eventually forming a long lasting relationship with Andrea. When Rick Grimes arrives at the camp, Dale reveals to Rick that he is suspicious that Shane and Lori are having an affair. Rick initially ignores this advice. Later Dale saves Donna from being bitten by a roamer, beheading the zombie, which reveals that even beheading a zombie does not fully kill them. Later one night during dinner, Rick asks the group about their lives before. Dale reveals that he was a car salesman who retired, and set out with his wife across America two years prior to the Zombie outbreak. During the zombie outbreak his wife was killed. It was during his trip to Atlanta that he picked up the sisters, Andrea and Amy.
After Shane’s death, Dale tells Rick he knew all along something was up, and that he was one of the few survivors that prior to Rick coming to the camp, wanted to relocate only to have Shane refuse, and Dale only following due to Shane being the law.
After burying Shane, the survivors set off in Dale’s RV away from Atlanta in an attempt to find somewhere safe. Lori reveals to the camp that she is pregnant, which alarms Dale, who suspects the child maybe Shane’s, only to be quietened by Rick who suspects the same, but doesn’t want to think about it now.
The survivors end up at an estate that appears to be secure and safe, that same night Donna stumbles upon Dale and Andrea having sex, and although she originally disapproved of the thought of them together, she takes comfort knowing that both have lost someone, and together they are happy.
That morning Donna is killed, with the estate overrun by Zombies, defrosted by the change in seasons, prompting Dale to immediately head to his RV and begin rescuing the survivors, including Tyreese, his daughter Julie, and her boyfriend Chris who are trapped on top of one of the rooftops, but jump onto the passing RV and are saved by Dale.
The survivors remain on the move until Rick's son Carl Grimes is accidentally shot by Otis, ending up on Hershel's farm. During their stay, Dale is not often pictured until one scene where he is complaining to Andrea about the stench the other survivors leave in his RV, accidentally mentioning his dead wife, which causes Andrea to be slightly upset. However Dale reassures her, that all love he has for his dead wife, is the memories, and that he truly loves Andrea.
After been kicked out by Hershel, the survivors hit the road again once more, however when the RV unexpectantly runs out of fuel, the survivors split up to look for fuel and Dale and Andrea discover a prison. After rallying the rest of the group, they decide that the prison is the perfect location to call home.
Once the survivors reach the prison, Dale Lori and Carol are assigned the task to patrol the mid area between fences to make sure no Zombies are located there. During this period Rick and his group destroy a majority of the prison Zombie populace, with shots echoing to Dale, which causes him to worry about Andrea. Dale later accompanies Rick and Dexter as they inspect the prison. Dale begins to work on repairing the fences in order to secure the prison from more zombies.
Dale begins to think that Andrea will not love him due to his age; however Andrea reassures him that she will always want to be with him. When Rick returns to the prison, Dale informs him of the events that took place in his absence, and even accompanies Rick as they enter the gym to discover what happened to Tyreese, only to find him lying next to a wall, with Zombies lying on the ground all around him. The next day Dale explains that he discovered a new method of weakening the Zombie offense on the perimeter fences, using knives. After Thomas attacks Rick, Dale brings out a first aid kit and patches up both Andrea and Rick. Later Dale begins to fear that someone else might discover the prison, and try to take it from them, and begins to contemplate whether to stay, or leave, with Andrea stating that she would go where ever he goes.
After the Dexter mutiny takes place, Dale begins to swap his old camper outfit for prison overalls like the other survivors, and assists Rick in searching A Block, discovering the prison generator. Dale later begins to watch over everybody, including Allen’s children Ben and Billy while their father is in a coma. After in-fighting takes place between Rick and Tyreese, about Tyreese’s affair with Michonne, Dale informs Rick that he is no longer the group's leader, and that he will share authority with Dale, Tyreese and Hershel.
Dale and Andrea become adopted parents of Donna and Allen’s orphaned children. While Rick, Glenn, Michonne and others go off to rescue a downed helicopter crew, Andrea and Dale assist on looking out for the group for when they return, while targeting zombies to improve their skill. It is during this time that the topic of other people attacking the prison comes back up again, but this discussion ends with the return of Tyreese who has failed to locate the searching party. When Rick eventually does return to the prison he discovers the prison has been overrun by zombies, with Dale and Andrea hiding in his RV. Once the prison is again secure of zombies, Rick addresses the group and informs them of Woodbury and the threat of being attacked by them, therefore Andrea and Dale’s fears have come true.
Lori goes into labor, and to keep the generator going, Dale and Billy Greene search cars in the parking lot to refuel the generator. Dale is bitten by a Zombie, and is only narrowly rescued by the arrival of the raid party who quickly take Dale back into the prison in order to have his leg amputated. The right leg is amputated successfully and Dale is saved.
Dale begins to suspect that Andrea is falling for Tyreese. One morning Dale wakes to find a wooden peg attached to his leg, thanks to Andrea and Tyreese, and after asking Tyreese to leave them be, informs Andrea she doesn’t need to be with him anymore and that she may be with Tyreese, in which she replies and ensures Dale that she will always love him. Later that day the Governor and the townsmen of Woodbury attack.
During the attack Dale nurses a wounded Andrea and makes the decision to temporarily move out of the prison in order to protect Billy and Ben, while being accompanied by Glenn and Maggie, although Andrea returns in Dale’s RV to help give the prison a fighting chance.
Hershel's Farm & Washington DCEdit
Dale hides out along with Maggie, Glenn, Andrea, Sophia and the twins Billy and Ben at Hershel’s farm, which Dale informs Rick he would prefer to stay there, however the arrival of three strangers, Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene, prompt him to follow them in hopes of reaching Washington DC.
Nevertheless, tragedy strikes once again. Ben kills his brother Billy, and Carl kills Ben. Dale was in so much anguish that he left his guard down during a zombie attack and was bitten. He hid his wound to avoid Andrea further pain. When the night came, he left the van and disappeared into the forest, being abducted by the mysterious Hunters. When Dale woke up, Chris introduced himself and told the old man that they were eating him piece by piece. However, Dale would have the last laugh. He was already infected and was hoping to spread the disease to the Hunters. They were furious and beat him up. They left his unconscious body in front of Gabriel's church to use him as a bait.
- Numerous counts of zombies.