One reason there are so many unwanted animals and so many puppy mill breeders is that people let the purchase price of an animal make the decision for them. The purchase price of an animal is a drop in the bucket compared to care expenses, including food & regular vet visits, over the life of the animal.
A little over a year ago I bred my first litter of GSP pups. One potential buyer asked repeated if I would come down on my price and couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t because she only wanted her dog as a pet, she wasn’t going to show it or anything. All the puppies (whether they went to pet, show or performance homes) sold for the same price and I can tell you that between the cost of all the genetic testing I did before hand, stud fee, vet care, food bills, electric bills for the endless loads of laundry, etc. while I had those puppies for 10 weeks prior to them going to their new homes I didn’t even come close to breaking even.
My poodle came from a single breeder who only has a litter once a year. She does it for the love of the breed not the love of money. Why would I pay $400 for a dog with no papers and no history? And some of us don’t want to pay the huge salaries of some of the government run shelters. I pay enough taxes already.