Miranda Lambert turned to social media to explain herself after facing backlash over pictures showing her posing with Tiger King star Joseph “Joe Exotic” Maldonado-Passage. The eccentric zookeeper and sometimes-country singer shot to overnight fame with the release of the Netflix reality TV series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness in March and has been the subject of intense national debate.

Lambert posted several photos of herself posing with Maldonado-Passage on Instagram on Monday (April 13), writing, "Here’s a little Monday memory for y’all," adding the hashtags #TigerKing and #WayTooPrettyForPrison. Some followers and other social media users quickly responded, negatively, as Maldonado-Passage is currently serving a 22-year prison term in Oklahoma.

In 2019, a jury convicted Maldonado-Passage of paying $3,000 for the murder of Carole Baskin, the founder of the rival Big Cat Rescue. He was also found guilty of killing tigers so he could have room for more animals at his G.W. Exotic Animal Memorial Park in Wynnewood, Okla., and he’s been accused of animal abuse for the conditions at the zoo.

Lambert is a well-known advocate for animals and the founder of the MuttNation Foundation, which has helped place shelter dogs all over the country. The 36-year-old country superstar turned to Twitter to provide context for the photos several hours later, writing, "Backstory: During Hurricane Harvey, the MuttNation Team went to Houston to help relocate existing shelter dogs to free up shelter space for animals separated by their owners.

“MuttNation asked for volunteers who could transport some dogs from Houston to shelters in Oklahoma, where there was more room and they could be treated and adopted," she adds. "Some guy named Joe volunteered his trailer and staff. Now I know it’s ‘Joe Exotic.’

“I’ve never been to his zoo and I didn’t even know he had tigers,” she explains, writing, “OBVIOUSLY I’d never condone animals being treated badly.”

Maldonado-Passage recently filed a lawsuit against various government agencies, asking for $94 million and claiming loss of property, research, care for his animals, false arrest and imprisonment and selective enforcement, claiming he was targeted because he is openly gay, People reports. In a phone interview from prison on March 22, Maldonado-Passage says that being imprisoned himself has given him a new perspective on the conditions in which he kept his animals.

“Go sit in a cage with your animals for a week,” he reflects. “I mean, when I left the zoo and I sent my chimpanzees to the sanctuary in Florida and imagined what my chimpanzees went through for 18 years, I’m ashamed of myself.”

LOOK: Country Singers’ Most Adorable Pets

Dierks Bentley’s Beloved Jake

Dierks Bentley’s dog Jake was as famous as the singer himself, frequenting events with his curly-haired owner. He even attended Bentley’s Country Music Hall of Fame exhibit opening! Sadly, Jake passed away in July of 2016 after battling cancer.

Carrie Underwood’s Lucky Penny

Carrie Underwood has two sons now, but she was already a puppy mama! The singer has two dogs, Ace and Penny — she even used them to announce her pregnancy! Here, the singer is seen snuggled up with Penny. So sweet!

Kacey Musgraves’ Pearl

Kacey Musgraves rescued this pretty pup named Pearl, who is missing one of her front legs. Judging by Musgraves’ IG account, having three legs doesn’t slow Pearl down one bit!

Brian Kelley’s Dog, Stone

Both members of FGL are dog lovers. BK and his wife have not one, not two, but three dogs! All from the same breeder, Smoke, Sage and Stone (pictured here) are the most beautiful members of Tribe Kelley.

Taylor Swift’s Olivia Benson

Tay-Tay is a huge fan of felines, and her Instagram account is a dedicated photo gallery of their adventures together. In this pic, Swift is cradling a sleeping Olivia Benson, who is a Scottish Fold. What a lucky cat!

Tyler Hubbard’s Harley

BK isn’t the only dog lover in Florida Georgia Line. His duo partner, Tyler Hubbard, has a beautiful pup of his own. Hubbard and his wife are proud parents to Harley Hubbard, who is as cute as he is well-traveled!

Hunter Hayes’ Greyhound, Cole

Hunter Hayes has a new BFF! The ‘Wanted’ singer introduced his new addition, Cole, via a video announcement so he could show the former racing pup in action.

Brantley Gilbert made female fans say "Aww" when he adopted a partially deaf American Bulldog. The pup, Sylo, obviously means a lot to the singer, since he frequently travels with him. Gilbert also went out of his way to learn hand signals to help the sweet pup.

Hillary Scott’s Baker

In addition to her kidsr, Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott is also mom to two fur babies, including one she calls a "cuddled" Baker.

Natalie Stovall has a very happy family, which includes an adorable miniature pinscher. Her fur baby’s name is Cinnamon, and judging by Stovall’s Instagram, the little dog has her mommy wrapped around her paw.

Miranda Lambert has a huge soft spot for dogs, but she loves all animals. She has her own horse named Sophie, who gets dressed up from time to time … like as a unicorn.

Kellie Pickler’s Pixie

Kellie Pickler’s pup, Pixie, is the epitome of class. She’s a Chinese Crested who frequently gets pampered at a "puppy parlor." Pickler’s IG account is a shrine to the furry pet, showing her with bows and sassy hairdos.

Maddie Marlow — one half of country duo Maddie and Tae — has a double dose of doggy at her house, Gizmo and Neyo. Gizmo is the tiny terrier (seen left), while Neyo is the fluffy white furball on the right.

When the Grand Ole Opry teamed up with Miranda Lambert’s MuttNation, they didn’t expect to end up adopting their own furry friend. Charlie, a lab/terrier mix, won the hearts of Opry staffers who will now take turns caring for the canine, who will serve as the official Opry Dog.

Curtis Loew is Miranda’s newest cat, who is having a slight identity crisis. Apparently, when the singer got the kitten she thought he was a boy. After a vet visit, they found out that wasn’t the case. Oops!

Kelsea Ballerini’s Dibs

Kelsea named her furry friend after her second single, Dibs. She takes the blonde-haired dog on the road with her to shows.

RaeLynn’s little pup dog is just the cutest! Dolly gave RaeLynn a big scare when she went missing — but luckily the dog turned up unharmed!

Chase Rice and his sidekick (literally), Cash, take Instagram photos together. In this one, Cash is being a little too literal!