The plaintiffs say the "shelter has a duty to help, not harm, homeless dogs and cats."
The Animal Legal Defense Fund along with three people from Stockton filed the lawsuit against the City of Stockton.
The suit is not asking for money, only that the animal shelter follow the law.
The shelter is required to hold strays for at least 6 days before euthanization.
But Animal Legal Defense Fund Attorney Jenni James says the shelter's records show a different story over a one year period.
"Early euthansias are happening, 1,500 animals were euthanized before the expiration of the Stockton shelter's minimum holding period," says James.
James says 80 percent of the animals are behind locked doors where the public never sees them.
"Only about 20 percent of the animals are truly being given a meaningful chance of adoption," says James.
The City of Stockton is not commenting on the lawsuit.
San Joaquin is one of the few counties of its size in California that doesn’t have a helicopter. But new state funding means Stockton Police could have one before the end of the year.
It began 60 years ago by feeding homeless people. Today, it continues that tradition — but also puts clothes on people’s backs, tends to guests’ health, and helps folks get back on their feet.
Tubbs was voted in last year with 70 percent of the vote and, at 26, became the youngest elected mayor of a larger U.S. city. He is also Stockton’s first black mayor.
Stockton Police are offering a $10,000 reward leading to the arrest and conviction of a 14-year-old boy for murder.
Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs announced a $20 million donation for financial help for college students.