Now, Saebom is looking to get on another kind of road - one that leads to a family in the U.S. or Canada.
Sweeney doesn't think any dog is safe in a country that still clings to its dubious tradition.
More than 2 million dogs are killed every year in South Korea to feed a market that consumes around 100,000 tons of dog meat every year, according to the Animal Welfare Institute.
The times are changing, Sweeney notes, thanks in part to increased pressure from the international community, as well as fresh attitudes inside the country.
"The majority of people in the dog trade are the older generation who saw their grandparents do it," he explains. "The younger generation is starting to come around and think it is the wrong thing to do."