Some professions require a person to speak more than one language. PAL’s Staff Dog Behaviorist, Kevin McHale, has spent years becoming fluent in the mysterious language of dogs. A native of Beaufort, Kevin has dedicated his life to studying dog behavior.

He started his career by observing wild dogs in their natural environment to learn how they flourish without human influence. Kevin learned how to use what nature has already provided to achieve balance in the relationship between dogs and humans.

This is different from “dog training,” which uses man-made conditioning to get the dog to simply respond to commands. You see, in nature, the pack leader influences the pack members. Along those same lines, Kevin uses the natural language of dogs (energy and body language) to positively correct and influence a dog’s behavior.

Kevin puts his knowledge into practice helping PAL rehabilitate dogs with issues, including poor leash manners, intense fear and anxiety and aggression. “I chose to be a part of Palmetto Animal League because they’re the most dedicated,” explains Kevin. “They never give up on a pet.”

In certain cases where a dog is likely recovering from physical or emotional abuse, Kevin steps in to work with both the dog and the adopter to help transition the dog into their new home.

Kevin’s work is an integral part of PAL’s “no kill” mission. Through years of experience, he has learned how humans can fulfill the needs of dogs by being the calm-assertive pack leaders their dogs need.

“It’s amazing to see how Kevin’s approach can instantly change the vibe a dog is giving off,” says PAL President Amy Campanini. “When he spends time with one of our dogs, you see their body language go from apprehensive to confident and carefree right before your eyes.”

At Palmetto Animal League, we know that happy, healthy, well-adjusted pets are more likely to become beloved family members. To achieve this lasting kinship, we first invest in pets by giving them a healthy new start, both physically and mentally. For many animals, this is their first time experiencing unconditional love and care.

PAL dogs are fortunate to have Kevin as their champion and their advocate. His trust in nature’s design allows him to speak to dogs in a way they understand and respect. In his unceasing quest to improve the relationship between dogs and humans, he is saving lives one animal at a time. We are proud and honored to call Kevin the leader of our pack!

Join the No Kill movement. Adopt, foster, donate or volunteer by visiting

Lindsay Perry is the marketing coordinator for Palmetto Animal League.