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.
The City of Stockton officially exits bankruptcy Wednesday. The exit ends more than two years of negotiations, settlements, and development of a future fiscal plan.
Valentine's Day is this Saturday and it might be the day some people find puppy love. The Stockton Animal Shelter is will be giving away dogs and cats to good homes.
February is Black History Month and a special museum is traveling to schools in Northern California. The Crocker Art Museum's "Art Ark" takes art off the wall and puts it in the hands of kids.
The family of Misty Holt-Singh, who was killed by police gunfire in a failed bank robbery in Stockton last July, filed a claim against the city Wednesday.
A new shelter to house battered women and their children has opened up in Tracy.