(CNN) -- A Kentucky Chihuahua is expected to make a full recovery after a freak accident that left a large barbecue fork lodged in his head for days, according to the animal hospital where he was treated.
During a family gathering two weeks ago, 12-week-old Smokey was waiting to be fed as his owner used the fork to shoo another dog away from Smokey's food, Su Smith, vice president of Cumberland Valley Animal Hospital in London, Kentucky, wrote in an article on the hospital's Web site.
As owner Vickie Brumley of Manchester, Kentucky, waved the fork, the handle broke off and the fork end was flung through the air, embedding itself several inches into Smokey's head.
Smokey immediately ran into the woods, Smith wrote. For two days, his owner's family searched for him despite bad weather and finally came to the conclusion that he had either died of his injury or been killed by wildlife.
Brumley's brother, Hughie Wagers, was visiting his sister and sitting on the porch when Smokey came up the driveway with the fork still sticking out of his head, Smith wrote. He rushed him to the animal hospital.
"They arrived at 6:59 p.m., right as we were about to lock up," hospital staffer Michelle Duncum told CNN. "Mr. Wagers walked into the hospital and asked if we could please help him."
Staffers were shocked when they saw Smokey, she said. "We had never dealt with anything like this before."
Veterinarian Keaton Smith knew Smokey's treatment might be expensive and spoke with Wagers about options, Smith wrote.
Keaton Smith offered to treat Smokey at the hospital's expense if Wagers allowed the hospital to call media outlets about the Chihuahua's story. However, staffers wanted to make sure Smokey would live through the night first before calling anyone, Su Smith said.
It only took the veterinarian about 30 seconds to remove the fork from Smokey's head, Duncum said. And when the veterinarian arrived at the hospital the next morning, July 8, he found Smokey "recovering much better than expected," Su Smith wrote.
Smokey has been advised to take it easy for a few weeks, but is expected to fully recover, Duncum said.
The Chihuahua's owner did not immediately return a call seeking comment from CNN.
"Dr. Smith asks everyone who believes this is a cruelty case to 'please back off' and stop jumping to unfounded conclusions," Su Smith wrote. "If you have never had an accident of any kind, you may cast the first stone, but there will be no criminal charges filed in this case."