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.
Friday was practice day for the NCAA women’s basketball teams in the Sweet 16 round in Stockton. Coaches and players also answered questions from the press.
Stockton is rolling out the red carpet as it prepares for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Sweet 16 and the Elite 8 to be played in its Downtown Arena. It could be a 2 million dollar boost to the local economy.
A judge has reduced bail for former Stockton mayor Anthony Silva.
Another protest at Stockton’s City Hall following the city council meeting Tuesday night. The two-hour demonstration resulted in a dozen arrests.
An art exhibit that just opened in Stockton was born out of the most violent tragedy in the city's history. The survivors of one of the first mass school shootings in the country are hoping art can promote change.