Good for you for following your gut. It's far too easy to 'rescue' a puppy from a breeder but at what price?
It took me almost 6 mos to find a breeder and even then we corresponded by email for several months before the pups were born. Our breeder had AKC paperwork on both the sire and dam for us to see, plus the health clearance paperwork on both adult dogs. (Check out the AKC bok on dog breeds from your local library or the AKC website to see exactly what the official paperwork should look like.) We were able to interact with the dam to get an idea of temperament, as well as with our breeder's other adult Dobes.
We visited our breeder and the pups twice before we discussed which pup we would be buying, and must have spent at least 90 minutes answering and asking questions. Our breeder wanted to make sure that this was the breed for us and that she was selling her pup into a loving home. She made it clear, as did the contract, that if circumstances changed, she would have 'first dibs' on the dog. She did not want her pups going to a shelter - or worse.
Cleanliness is really important - the crates should have clean, shredded newpaper lining the bottom and the food dishes should not have old food in them. If the breeder isn't interacting with the puppies, but treating them more like livestock, be prepared to walk away.
It is unfortunate that anyone can mate two dogs and call themselves a breeder. I happened to encounter one such individual on vacation last week and while it is unfair to judge someone on first appearance, I hate to think of the conditions those greyhound pups are raised in.
Good luck on your search. I think your local DPCA chapter is a good place to start. Or, you could go to an AKC-sponsored dog show and spend time chatting with the owners and perhaps find a breeder that way. That was how we found ours.