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.
A judge has granted final approval of the City of Stockton's two-billion-dollar bankruptcy recovery plan.
Gas prices have been steadily declining, and in Stockton the price has dropped below three dollars at one station.
(AP) -- The Stockton Police Department has turned to a Washington, D.C. group to investigate its response to a July bank robbery and shootout.
The Stockton Unified School District is asking voters to approve a $114-million bond measure this November. The money pay to upgrade school technology.
One new police officer and nine trainees entering the police academy have been added to the ranks of the Stockton Police Department. It's the beginning of a major hiring effort.